Lily Gladstone has clarified that she is “not Two Spirit” and uses non-binary pronouns.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, user @asdza_tlehonaei, who is Two Spirit, highlighted how there has been confusion as to whether Gladstone belongs to the community.

“Ya’ll took some words they said and [white flag emoji] academic’d it to mean Two Spirit,” she wrote. “That’s not how reclaiming Two Spirit works.”

Gladstone reshared her post, telling their followers that the user is “absolutely right” and “wasn’t aware” of the conversation, “but I found what she’s talking about and it bothers me too”.

“Two Spirit is not a catch all term for [rainbow emoji]; it’s way more specific and it’s a term that originates with Diné. I’m not Two Spirit: I use nonbinary pronouns,” said Gladstone, who was raised on the Blackfeet Reservation and is of Piegan Blackfeet, Nez Perce and European heritage.

In an interview with PEOPLEthe star explained that she’s comfortable with both “she” and “they” pronouns.

“I remember being 9 years old and just being a little disheartened, seeing how often a lot of my boy cousins were misgendered because they wore their hair long,” shared Gladstone.

“It happens to a lot of kids, I think, especially Native boys leaving a community where long hair is celebrated [and then] just kind of getting teased for it. So I remember back then being like, everybody should just be they.

“And in most Native languages, most Indigenous languages, Blackfeet included, there are no gendered pronouns. There is no he/she, there’s only they.”

Gladstone continued to highlight the lack of gendered pronouns within Blackfeet, and how their gender is “implied” in their name: “But even that’s not binary”.

After sharing how their grandfather’s Blackfeet name meant “Iron Woman” and that “lots of women historically and still now” are given men’s names, Gladstone said their use of pronouns is their way of “decolonizing gender”.

Additionally, she said that when she’s “in a group of ladies, I know that I’m a little bit different”, whereas in a man’s space, “I don’t feel [masculine] at all. I feel probably more feminine when I’m around other men.”

Gladstone memorably shot to fame last year in Martin Scorsese’s lauded crime drama Killers of the Flower Moon, also starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro.

As Mollie Kyle, an Osage woman who survived the Osage Indian murders, Gladstone become the first Native American in history to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress (Drama) and be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

They are set to appear in the upcoming Apple TV+ drama Fancy Dance as Jax, a queer woman who cares for her niece Roki (Isabel Deroy-Olson) by “scraping by on the Seneca-Cayuga reservation in Oklahoma”.⁠

The official synopsis reads: “Every spare minute goes into finding her missing sister while also helping Roki prepare for an upcoming powwow.”⁠

Fancy Dance had its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, where it received universal critical acclaim. It will have a limited released on 21 June 2024, before streaming on Apple TV+ on 28 June.⁠